(LWJ) — At least 13 members of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, including a deputy of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the group’s emir, have been killed in a previously unreported US Predator airstrike.
The airstrike took place on Oct. 26 in South Waziristan, according to Reuters, but was not immediately reported. The exact location of the strike was not provided. Two missiles were fired at a compound. Pakistani officials said that 13 Taliban fighters were killed, but tribal leaders put the number of deaths at 22. All are said to be “militants.”
Among those thought to have been killed was Taj Gul Mehsud, whom Reuters described as “a senior Taliban commander and close aide” to Hakeemullah. Taj Gul’s death has not been confirmed, however.
Hakeemullah’s Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan is closely allied with al Qaeda and is supported and sheltered by so-called “good Taliban” leaders Mullah Nazir in South Waziristan and Hafiz Gul Bahadar in North Waziristan. Both Nazir and Bahadar are supported by the Pakistani military despite their close alliances with al Qaeda and the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.